All Landlords have a common law duty to ensure that gas installations and appliances supplied with their properties are safe.

The Gas Safety regulations applies to all Residential Accommodation that is Let ; private houses, flats and maisonettes, bedsits (HiMO), private households (lodgers), bed and breakfast, holiday cottages, chalets, caravans and house boats on inland waterways.

Since 1 April 2009, only Gas Safe registered engineers should be employed to carry out work on gas installations or appliances – CORGI gas registration will no longer be valid.

Landlords are responsible in law for their tenant’s safety.

Annual Gas Safety checks are a legal requirement – failure to do this can result in heavy fines or even imprisonment.
All Landlords have a common law duty to ensure that gas installations and appliances supplied with their properties are safe.
Tenants also have certain legal obligations when it comes to gas safety. In the case of residential properties, landlords (or their agents) have a statutory duty to arrange annual Gas Safety Checks by a registered installer.
A copy of the GAS Safe certificate must be given to the Tenant on entry and within 28 days of the annual check.
A copy must also be retained by the landlord for 2 years.
Before you re-let the property, you need to ensure that all appliances are safe and have an up to date Landlord’s gas safety certificate (a copy of which needs to be given to the new Tenant).

Landlords and Letting Agents duties apply to a wide range of accommodation, occupied under a lease or licence
and require annual checks and maintenance for all gas appliances and flues.
1.Use only GAS SAFE registered engineers for installations, maintenance and gas safety checks.
2.Maintain safety check records, keeping copies for at least 2 years, and issue copies to each tenant within 28 days.
3.If you use a managing agent make sure the contract makes it clear who is responsible for managing gas safety checks.
4.Make sure that appliances are safe and have been checked within 12 months before re-letting.
5.On re-letting, remove any suspect appliances which may have been left by previous Tenants and issue the new Tenant/s with a copy of the safety check record on entry.
6.On re-letting, even if a safety certificate is still current, inspect the gas installation and appliances.
7.A leaving Tenant may have left the system in an unsafe condition.
8.Work closely with Tenants in gaining access for maintenance, repairs, safety checks and the early reporting of faulty appliances. If you experience difficulties gaining access make sure you fully document this to show you have taken all reasonable steps – beware of accusations of harassment!
9.Ensure that all appliances meet the general regulation requirements, in particular in bedrooms and bathrooms where appliances must be of the room sealed type.
10.Do not use second hand gas appliances.
11.Ensure that tenants have emergency instructions and ready access to the gas meter and the gas cut-off valve.
12.Provide copies of all appliance manufacturer’s operating instructions to your Tenants.
13.Landlord duties for LPG appliances are the same as for natural gas. The Landlord must carry out a safety check at least once every 12 months.
14.The Tenants have a responsibility imposed upon them by the Regulations. A Tenant must report any defect that they become aware of and must not use an appliance that is not safe. The Tenant is usually notified of this obligation in the tenancy agreement.

Failure to produce a Gas safety Certificate

Should a situation arise where you are asked to produce a valid Gas Safety Certificate and you are unable to do so, you may be prosecuted or under Selective Licensing you could be denied a licence which in turn denies you a claim for possession [as was a case we recently experienced with Manchester Council].

A Landlord has to show that they took all reasonable steps to comply with the law and tried to perform their duty.

HSE recommends the following best practice in these circumstances and strongly advises that a record be kept of all correspondence with the tenants: Write to the Tenant explaining that a safety check is a legal requirement and that it is for the tenant’s own safety. Give the Tenant the opportunity to arrange their own appointment; leave the number of the contractor. HSE inspectors will look for at least three attempts to complete the gas safety check, including the above suggestions; however the approach will need to be appropriate to each circumstance. It would ultimately be for a court to decide if the action taken was reasonable, depending upon the individual circumstances.

If the court decides you failed in your duty there are severe penalties for non-compliance.

In the event of deaths this can result in manslaughter charges for Landlords and Agents. Non compliance is a criminal offence and courts can impose unlimited fines and custodial sentences. This may also invalidate your property insurance and could subsequently lead to claims for civil damages – awards in these cases have proved to be very high indeed.